In the night the lowest brightness setting on iPad (1st gen) is still too bright.

Is it possible to set it even lower somehow?

On iBooks it's possible but it works only on iBooks itself and not on whole iPad.

running the latest iOS 5.1

  • I would prefer to do this with not jailbroken device – bakytn Mar 25 '12 at 19:12
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    Then you’re out of luck, I’m afraid. Hopefully, a future iOS software update will lower the arbitrary limit. – Mathias Bynens Mar 25 '12 at 19:14
  • I received an iPad mini w/ Retina (7.1.1) fathers day and it appears this is still an issue. Are there other options for the newer iOS? – Jay Cummins Jun 24 '14 at 2:07

Many people use the black on white mode to invert the color mapping for applications that will not specify more of the LCD to be grey or black and less of it white. Some blog articles call this "night mode" but it's a typical adjustment for people that have different visual abilities.

Settings App -> General –> Accessibility –> Triple-click Home -> “Toggle White on Black.”

Even though you can't reduce the illumination of the lights in the iPad further without a jailbreak, you can use this system setting to increase the amount of light that gets blocked in many cases by triple clicking the home button.

Also, many apps are being programmed to only draw in night mode where only red pixels are used. This also cuts down on the transmission of colors that our eyes use to constrict pupils and preserve night vision. This isn't a general solution, but for apps like Star Walk - this works very well in practice.

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    This is the solution for me, not an actual answer for the question but it works. For late night reading it's great. – bakytn Mar 28 '12 at 15:43

Depending on just how much you want the brightness lowered, you might consider applying a screen protector to the iPad. Reviews of the Splash Masque Screen Protector in particular mention that the display seems slightly darker when the protector is applied. The reviews take this as a negative, but if that's the effect you're looking for, you could exploit this side effect for your advantage.

In the absence of a non-jailbreak software solution, a hardware solution might be your best bet.


On a jailbroken iPad, you can use SBSettings to lower the brightness even further than the arbitrary lower limit that iOS normally allows.

Without jailbreaking, you can lower the brightness beyond the settings limit only in the iBooks app (as you mentioned), not system-wide.

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    Accepting because it seems there is just no other way than using JB. Thanks! – bakytn Mar 25 '12 at 19:46

The ipad generation 1 has an LED backlit LCD, so if the hardware supported it, it could go lower (if it were CCFL it would have a limit before it turned off completely).

However, the backlight hardware simply doesn't let it go lower - similar to the iPhone 3GS. Remember that when they came out you could only change the brightness in Settings, and Apple didn't provide nor see a need to dim them further until the iPad became the success it was, and people complained that the minimum brightness was too high.

iBooks includes a workaround specifically because people complained about brightness issues when reading in the dark. Once you try to go below the minimum supported backlight brightness, ibooks starts to decrease the brightness of the screen simply by using darker colors. You can see this by setting iBooks very low on a gen one ipad, then taking a screen shot, then setting it very high and taking a screenshot. The actual image is darker.

I haven't played with SBSettings to find out if it actually causes the backlight hardware to lower the brightness (which, despite the hardware not supporting it, is still possible if you get the CPU to PWM dim the backlight itself - but it costs you CPU cycles) or if it modifies the video driver to reduce the color space so that all apps appear dimmer.


To lower brightness lower than the limit:

Settings app > General > Accessibility > Zoom:

Set Zoom Region > "Full Screen Zoom"

Set Zoom Filter > "Low Light"

Set Maximum Zoom Level all the way to the right (The highest value)

Go back to Accessibility:

Settings app > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut:

Set "Triple-Click The Home Button For" > Zoom

To Test: Triple click the home button and the screen will go darker.


Use a cooling glass while using iPad at night.

  • 2
    What's a cooling glass? How do you use one? Where would I go to obtain one? Your answer needs more details to be useful. – Cajunluke Oct 12 '12 at 16:40
  • I googled it and it seems that cooling glass is just another word for sunglasses which could help solve your problem – user44066 Mar 1 '13 at 6:24
  • Corey Hart was right! – Dan J Jun 14 '13 at 21:54

Try "Night web browser by Alex". Only a web browser but you can dim the screen as much as you like.

  • Its an iphone app, question says ipad – tim Jan 1 '14 at 2:42

There's no way to do that because the video driver has established limits in his firmware.

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    There is no firmware limit. In iBooks, you can set the brightness to a much lower value compared to the iOS-wide setting (which has an arbitrary minimum). – Mathias Bynens Mar 26 '12 at 6:23
  • That's by software, i.e. If you open the multitasking bar while iBooks are open and with a lower value, you will see that the multitasking bar has the minimun possible by the system, not by the app per se. – ignaciotr Mar 26 '12 at 10:20

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